While definition

wīl, hwīl
A period or space of time.

A short while.

noun
14
6
As long as; during the time that.

It was lovely while it lasted.

conjunction
7
3
A period of time.

Stay for a while; sang all the while.

noun
6
3
To spend (time) idly or pleasantly.

While the hours away.

verb
6
4
While is defined as during or in a certain time.

An example of while is cookies baking during the same time that caramel is being made on the stove top.

conjunction
1
1
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While means a period of time.

An example of while is how long a person has to wait for to see the doctor.

noun
1
1
In spite of the fact that; although.

While that guitar may look nice, it's not a very good instrument.

conjunction
1
1
At the same time that.

While you're up, close the door.

conjunction
1
1
To spend (time) in a pleasant way; cause to pass idly.

To while away the afternoon.

verb
1
1
During the same time that.

He was sleeping while I was singing.

conjunction
1
1
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This case, while interesting, is a bit frustrating.

conjunction
1
1
Whereas; and on the other hand.

The walls are green, while the ceiling is white.

conjunction
0
0
(north eng., archaic) Until.
preposition
0
0
An uncertain duration of time, a period of time.

He lectured for quite a long while.

noun
0
0
(Northern England, Scotland) Until.

I'll wait while you've finished painting.

conjunction
0
0
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As long as.

While you're at school you may live at home.

conjunction
0
0
To pass (time) idly.
verb
0
0
To loiter.

verb
0
0
But; however.

The soles are leather, while the uppers are canvas.

conjunction
3
4
During or throughout the time that.

We waited while she dined.

conjunction
2
3
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The time, effort, or trouble taken in doing something.

The project wasn't worth my while.

noun
0
1
(north eng., archaic) Until.
conjunction
0
1
Although on the one hand.

While he was not poor, he had no ready cash.

conjunction
0
1
between whiles
  • now and then; at intervals
idiom
0
0
the while
  • at the same time; during this very time
idiom
0
0
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worth someone's while
  • worth someone's time, consideration, etc.; profitable in some way
idiom
0
0

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
while
Plural:
whiles

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

between whiles
worth someone's while

Origin of while

  • Middle English from Old English hwīl kweiə- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old English hwīl, from Proto-Germanic *hwīlō. Cognate with Low German wil, German Weile.

    From Wiktionary